I keep reading here about elderly parents who demand endlessly from adult children because, "you owe me". Even worse are other people who point out that your parents cared for you. It shouldn't take a PhD to see the difference. I have worked hard to set limits. After 17 years of grueling caregiving, I placed my then 92 yr old mother in Assisted Living. Our relationship improved, but I have remained wary. Now A year later, she is in the hospital, mad as heck and giving me the business. She wants me to take her to my home. No way!!!! She pointed out that I gave her grief as a teen so now she is entitled. Goodness. I misbehaved for two years as a teen when she was 45. She's been misbehaving on my watch for 18 years now and I'm 63. Still she's good at pushing buttons and I left the hospital in tears.

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Dear Riverwatcher,

I'm so sorry, I know its hard. You are doing the best you can. The best any of us can. My dad never said you owe me, but because my mother left him and my siblings all left, I felt a lot of duty and responsibility to care for him. He was still driving up and till he had his stroke at 81.

My mother on the other hand, I have to learn boundaries and soon. She has been guilt tripping me since I was a child. I suffered because of you. You owe me. I had a terrible life and marriage.

For my own sanity and well being, I truly believe I will to have to place her in a nursing home if things escalate.

Yup I agree, our parents weren't caring for their parents as we are. My mom's father needed a level of care I didn't fully appreciate until I became a caregiver myself but it was left almost totally up to my grandmother (a saint). Not surprisingly when she needed care she insisted she go into a retirement home. Mom helped out with her MIL for only a few months at the end of her life, not for years. I'm sure my mom never felt she was owed anything, but she never made any plan for her old age beyond expecting to die earlier.

I can relate so much to this thread. My mother feels I owe her care because if it weren't for her I wouldn't be here. She never helped with her parents or my father's parents, but that doesn't count. I moved in to take care of both parents almost 8 years ago. My father died after two years, so now it is just my mother and me. It wouldn't be so bad except that I'm still treated like an uneasy guest. She tells me that it is her house so much that I really feel homeless. She has forgotten she asked me to help. Instead, she is taking care of me after my marriage broke up. IOW, she has elevated herself so she can feel I owe her. I think how nice it would be to have my own clean, uncluttered place. Trouble is she says she is going to die in this house and no one else is available (or wants) to help. Except for occasional phone calls from two brothers, I am the only person she knows.

My mother has been getting weaker and more confused recently. Today she fell. She is probably nearing the end of her life. I'm not sure, though, since she is still eating like a horse. It's hard to know what is going on except that I am totally miserable with the situation. I can't find a good way out, though. I know it won't be much longer, but I'm 65. It won't be long until I start having age problems.

My aunt also felt my cousin owed her. My cousin helped my aunt for 15 years. She was 70 by the time her mother died. Serious health issues and no money took a serious toll. I know she will not be able to rebuild a life for herself and don't know how a parent can do that to a daughter. Divorced daughters are often doubly hurt by being expected to be elder caregivers. My cousin is a beautiful lady who had a good job, but now is struggling through life. We have to watch out for ourselves, though I haven't been able to figure out how that is supposed to happen if they set hard limits on what they'll do, such as not going to a facility or having strangers come in the house. It takes a stronger person than I am to work around it.

I am 66 and my mom passed away three months ago. Her mom died when she was in her mid-50s. Her dad died when she was in her 40s. My dad never took care of either of his parents - he was estranged from both of them.

I'm a senior myself. I was the sole caregiver for my mom for 15 years and my mom and dad for 9 of those years. Even though my mom was very appreciative, it just about did me in. Our parents are living longer and longer (even my mom said, "We're living too long!") and it's more difficult for us "seniors" to take care of our super senior parents.

I am coming to the end of a 1-year non-profit job and then I'm sitting on my $ss for at least three months doing NOTHING. I mean nothing. I am still decompressing from the daily responsibility of caregiving. I think it will take me at least a year to get my head straight. You deserve to have your own life separate and apart from your parent. Set your limits!

Riverwatcher, oh how I wished I would have set limits or boundaries when the caregiving first started. My gosh the guilt my parents use to use, I really don't think they really thought about it, it was probably more like a frustration that their lives were more tied to the house.

They couldn't drive, their hearing was going, so was their eyesight. My Mom was not aging gracefully... Dad was more accepting of his age declines. I was also a senior trying to take care of much older seniors. I thought for sure they would outlive me !!

My parents never took care of their own parents, they had enough siblings, nieces, and nephews to volunteer to help where their parents had been living. Thus, my parents had no idea the stress they were placing upon me :(

Just curious, did your Mom take care of her own Mom? If she did, I bet she had some resentment, so she is trying to get even, but is using you as the pawn. I know it's not fair.

Like you,my sister looked after our mom for over 18 years, and like your mom, our mom is pretty angry that she is not being cared for at home by a daughter. Entitlement is the right word. What my sister told her was " I cared for you for 18 years, but your care needs and my own aging issues make it impossible for me to be a caregiver any more". If our mom brings it up on the phone, she refuses to engage and moves to another topic. There's a reason you don't see 63 year old aides running around.

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